Raven Familiar

Raven Familiar Card

Raven Familiar is a 2 Mana Cost Common Mage Minion Beast card from the Kobolds and Catacombs set!

Card Text

Battlecry: Reveal a spell in each deck. If yours costs more, draw it.

Flavor Text

Quoth the raven, 'Does yours cost more?'

Raven Familiar Additional Information

Mike Donais, Principal Game Designer for Hearthstone, had this to say about this card:

If we reprint Joust as a mechanic on multiple cards we would keyword it so that we can add that you win ties. If we don’t keyword it then adding the extra words is not quite worth it.

In this case you can really build around this card and make sure you win if you want or you can risk it and play some expensive spells and just a couple frost bolts for early game.

Important bonus info: This card needs the rest of the set revealed before it can be correctly evaluated.


Raven Familiar Card Review

So… Joust is back! Or is it? Although traditionally it reveals and compares minions, it was never an officially keyworded ability, so we can’t say with certainty that this isn’t Joust. Or Spell Joust. Or simply conditional card draw for Mage (that should totally be a keyword someday). Let’s face it, Mages play tons of expensive spells, and even if only Pyroblast costs 10 mana, they are still more expensive than the spells other classes typically play (Druid says hello). Your Firelands Portals, Flamestrikes and Blizzards are excellent targets for the Raven Familiar and they are commonly found in most Mage decks. That being said, it’s also equally unlikely to imagine a Mage deck without some of the class’ most iconic tools – FrostboltArcane IntellectIce Block, etc. Simply put, these cards are way too good not to play and although there may be an aggressive Burn Mage that doesn’t play the Flamestrikes of the world, there won’t be a Mage deck that doesn’t play Frostbolt.

In other words, when you are playing Raven Familiar, unless you build your deck in a very specific (and often times sub optimal) way, you cannot guarantee that its effect will activate successfully and get your that Pyroblast.  It’s not strictly clear whether or not decks will want this gamble, because card draw is really sought after by Mages. This card appears to be overshadowed by Arcanologist, which guarantees the draw and has a better stat line. Or it could be the case that there are way more big spells than small ones in the Mage deck and it’s a calculated risk that will pay off more times than it won’t.

Card Review by Chimbarozo

Raven Familiar Full Card Art

Raven Familiar Full Art

Leave a Reply


  1. Maciej
    December 5, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    One of the best cards for hunter 5/5. U can playa ara turn 1 get this 2/2 and maybe draw a card.

  2. Imaloony
    November 26, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Well hello Joust, I didn’t expect to see you again after both you and Inspire died the in train wreck/dumpster fire that was The Grand Tournament.

    Remember how King’s Elekk was one of the only (if not the only) good joust card? Because this is basically King’s Elekk, but for spells, and in the most spell advantaged class running around. The only thing that really keeps this card from being just outright bonkers nuts on a stick is that Ultimate Infestation is running around. But this is still insanely good and I expect to see plenty of mages running this.

    In Arena I think this card is still really good, especially because of spell scarcity. Generally mages get more spells and more expensive spells than any other class in the game in Arena, so this will go off a lot and get you your important game breaking spells.

    Standard: 5/5
    Arena: 5/5

  3. Diss0nance
    November 23, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Don’t ignore the fact that this is guaranteed draw against certain decks. Prince rogue is really only running shadowstep and cold blood, which means that any 2 mana or higher spell (every decent mage spell) would get drawn. Same thing with zoolock which really only runs soulfire and maybe bloodfury potion, both fairly cheap. In a control matchup I think it’s worth gambling on card draw, but not sure if this could replace any current card in mage lists, maybe valet when it rotates out, even though they serve different purposes. So decent card, but idk if it will be good enough to see play over the pretty good cards mage has at the moment

  4. Javyz
    November 23, 2017 at 12:51 am


  5. BeerWizard
    November 22, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    In a mage deck with an early game focused on minion cards to stabilize, big spells like firelands portal, and cards to make use of that like medivh and the new 6 drop that reveals a card to summon a random equal cost dude, this could be a reliable draw that could be played early or late in the game. Not sure if that deck is good, but worth trying. Otherwise this is a lower Stat kings elekk that at leaSt probably thins your deck of cards you don’t want to top deck against aggro, probably won’t net you frostbolt.

    • Roberto
      November 23, 2017 at 2:24 am

      Dunno, the deck you are thinking of is an arena deck without frostbolts, arcane intellect, secrets of any kind, primordial gliph (fireballs?)…….and as only spells firelands portal, flamestrike etc?

      If you have to fight the board in the early game, you have to set the deck as aggro, which is in contrast with high cost spells and late game threats…..

  6. Nay
    November 22, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    I don’t like how you opponent knows what spell you drew because they can play around it

  7. JadenIdol
    November 22, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Is this the first beast mage card?

  8. Crapcrack
    November 22, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    So this is a King’s elekk but for spells? First of all King’s elekk has a better body and mage already have better card draw like Arcanologist or Arcane intellect. Too much RNG involved, bad card.


    • Anonymus
      November 23, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      Mike Donais said: “Important bonus info: This card needs the rest of the set revealed before it can be correctly evaluated.”

      The card is probably good.

  9. Sad
    November 22, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Equal if not better version of Kings Ellik. Might see some play in the right mage deck. Not sure if it would be something included in control mage but possibly in a new tempo deck. Could be better in the next standard rotation.

    • Crapcrack
      November 22, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      King’s elekk has a better body, not good trust me.

      • Ertje
        November 22, 2017 at 1:30 pm

        Spells are generally better than a minion, unless you build your deck around drawing something specific with a card such as this

  10. TardisGreen
    November 22, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Card is good if and only if Meta is dominated by Minion heavy decks such as Keleseth Rogue and Zoolock.

  11. Peacekeeper
    November 22, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Spell Joust.